I love working with pumpkins with my kids, and decorating with them, but I HATE wasting food. I don’t like buying them and not using them. We roast our pumpkins and make our own homemade puree. Then I freeze it in the freezer in 2 cup portions so it’s ready for recipes. We can use it to add nutrients and fiber to our food all year. It’s a great idea! This time we made yummy pumpkin cookies with our puree.
Don’t forget to pin for later:
First step, cut the pumpkin in half.
Second step, scoop out all the seeds and junk in the middle.
You can wash the seeds and soak them in brine and cook them. They are delicious. You can compost the stringy goop in the center too. Click here to see how to make your own yummy pumpkin seeds.
Third step, bake them.
Set your oven to 350-400 degrees and lay the pumpkin halves on a cookie sheet cut side down. Bake them until fork tender. The time will depend on the size of the pumpkins. You can use pie pumpkins or even big jack o lantern pumpkins, but pie pumpkins have a more concentrated flavor and smoother texture. We use both. Like I said, I hate waste.
If I have a pumpkin that goes past it’s prime before it’s time to cook them up, I will set it out around the outside of the garden fence and let it decompose there. Sometimes animals will come and eat them. In the spring, some pumpkin plants will come up on their own. I love the idea of plants planting themselves naturally.
Fourth step, skin and process.
The skins will slide right off the pumpkin halves when they have cooled. Then throw the chunks in your blender or food processor and process until smooth. You can add a tablespoon of water if you need to loosen it up a little.
This year, when we baked our first pumpkin, we made some yummy pumpkin cookies. The kids loved them. I don’t use any cinnamon because I’m seriously allergic to it, even the smell. I personally think pumpkin flavor is good all on its own, but I’ve been allergic to cinnamon my whole life so I haven’t spent much time eating it.
Take your puree and measure out two cups and store them in a zip lock back or mason jar with plenty of head space. Then your puree is at the ready for your recipes. Another great idea is to freeze it in ice cube trays. Once it’s frozen, pop them out and store them in an airtight container. Then you can use a cube or two or three as a hidden ingredient in many things. Soups, stews, and casseroles are a great place to boost nutrients with 3 or 4 cubes of pumpkin but will never be detected by picky eaters. Trust me, I’m a professional.
Here’s our recipe for pumpkin cookies.
They are soft and fat and super yummy. Enjoy.
- 2 1/2 C . flour
- 1 tsp . baking powder
- 1 tsp . baking soda
- 1/2 tsp . sea salt
- 1/2 C . soft butter
- 1 1/2 C . raw sugar
- 1 C . homemade pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp . vanilla
- 2 C . powdered sugar
- 4 T . milk
- 1 T . melted butter
- 1 tsp . vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and raw sugar.
Add pumpkin, egg, and 2 teaspoons vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. If you want to use Gina's spices, you could add them now, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves.
Mix into wet ingredients.
Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Drizzle over cooled cookies with a fork.
Adapted from Gina on AllRecipes.com